Politics

Poilievre leaves Finance as Conservatives shuffle critic roles

He has been the most high-profile face among the Conservative Party's front bench critics — needling Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and her predecessor, Bill Morneau, about the state of the economy and the country's balance sheet while blasting the Liberal government on ethical foibles like the WE Charity scandal.

Tory MP Ed Fast becomes the party's new finance critic

Conservative Member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre is being shuffled from his party's finance critic role and will become the new jobs and industry critic. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

He has been the most high-profile face among the Conservative Party's front bench critics — needling Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and her predecessor, Bill Morneau, about the state of the economy and the country's balance sheet while blasting the Liberal government on ethical foibles like the WE Charity scandal.

Now, Pierre Poilievre is changing jobs.

As was first reported by CBC News Tuesday, Poilievre will no longer be the party's finance critic. 

B.C. MP Ed Fast has taken on the role of finance critic, or "shadow cabinet minister," as the party describes the role.

Poilievre is now the party's critic for jobs and industry.

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole confirmed the changes in a news release Wednesday.

While a move from the highest-profile critic role could be seen by some as a demotion, Conservative sources insist this is a part of a calculated effort to recast the critic roles in response to the pandemic as O'Toole pushes for a stronger focus on jobs and on rebuilding the economy.

Any change in Poilievre's role will attract attention because of his status in the party.

He's viewed within caucus as one of the Conservatives' strongest communicators and his biting rhetorical style makes him one of the most aggressive MPs on the Conservative front bench.

The shuffle was announced Wednesday, as the party also deals with the recent news that long-standing Conservative MPs Peter Kent and Cathy McLeod won't run in the next election.

 Other new critic roles announced Wednesday:

  • James Cumming: critic for COVID-19 economic recovery.
  • Raquel Dancho: critic for future workforce development and disability inclusion.
  • Jasraj Singh Hallan: critic for immigration, refugees and citizenship.
  • Rachael Harder: critic for digital government.
  • Richard Lehoux: associate critic for rural economic development.
  • Dane Lloyd: critic for rural economic development.
  • John Nater: critic for middle class prosperity.
  • Jamie Schmale: critic for Crown-Indigenous relations.
  • Corey Tochor: critic for families, children and social development. 
Conservative MP Ed Fast will be the party's new finance critic according to sources. (Canadian Press)

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